Portal Home > Knowledgebase > Managing Your Minecraft Server > Allocated vs Max vs Used memory
We often get people asking us why they only see a portion of their purchased memory allocated or used by their server.
To properly understand what you're seeing, you have to understand how Minecraft (and every other computer program in existence) works with memory.
- Max memory
This is the MAXIMUM amount of memory your server can consume.
Think of it like a car. If you buy a sports car, the MAX people the car can hold is 2.
If you buy a sedan, the MAX people the car can hold is 4 or 5.
If you buy an SUV, the MAX people the car can hold is 7.
You'll rarely use all of the seats in the car all the time. (If you do, it's time to buy a bigger car.)
- Allocated memory
This is the amount of memory Minecraft has been allocated at that point in time.
Minecraft has asked the system to ALLOCATE xxx bytes of memory. The system says "sure, you're not at MAX memory, so here you go."
If this were a sedan car, it would be like someone ASKING the driver to save 2 seats for passengers out of 4 available seats.
- Used memory
This is the actual amount of memory Minecraft is using at that point in time.
Minecraft will only use WHAT IT NEEDS to operate. No more, no less.
So the sedan car here has only USED one seat because his friend never actually showed up to use the second one.
- Free memory
This is the difference between ALLOCATED and USED memory.
From the previous example, someone requested 2 seats but only one person showed up. There is still 1 seat FREE, and 3 seats available for ALLOCATION out of a MAXIMUM of 4 seats.
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